The concept of an acting academy and joint theatre was started in 2012 by (the then 22-year old) Louw Breytenbach who decided to renovate an abandoned restaurant after completing his studies at the end of 2011. With very limited funding of savings with which he was planning to put down a deposit to buy a new car and help from friends and drama students he coached at the time, LALT was born… “It is something very few people supported, because of the financial implications no one thought that a 22 year old would be able to do this… Let alone in a place like Boksburg, and especially without funding it seemed impossible” said Breytenbach. But after running an ad in a local paper and by sending messages to every contact he had and phoning several community members to help – the dream slowly became reality as community members, friends and family pitched in. “We were very clear from the start that no one was allowed to donate money – they could either pitch in and help or provide tools and equipment… This was something we built from nothing, and not with a dash of cash from rich investors, we used our own hands, working 18 hour days for two months on end…”
The charity organization, Outreach Unlimited, renovated the kitchen into a dance hall a year after the original Live Arts Little Theatre opened its doors. Since then the theatre has changed the face of the East Rand’s artistic scene by playing host to more than 150 shows and charity functions drawing celebrities from all over the country to perform at this wonderful theatre where one may come in as a stranger, but always leaves as a friend. The acting academy, run by Breytenbach, currently consists of 90 full-time students. Irene’s School of Ballet, also situated in the theatre building, provides training for all aspiring ballerinas from ages 5 and up. The theatre has since its existence also played host to numerous birthday parties, ladies teas, art exhibitions and private launches including that of the Rotary club, Jabula Dames, Lady Gracious and even Miss Deaf South Africa. It was a natural progression that the theatre had to grow and be moved to a more versatile,bigger space and thus after months of planning the entire theatre was packed up and the building started again two and a half years later. “This time around things are different” says Breytenbach. “We have experience, an empty shell to work with and although we still don’t accept funding, we had twice the amount of hands pitching in to do the dirty work…” The new Live Arts Little Theatre, situated in The Terminal Life & Style Centre, took four weeks to complete “…and this time around only 14 hour-days” Breytenbach said. The first event was held on the 4th of October with well known singer, Jan Blohm, who performed to a sold out audience.
The official re-launch event will took place on the 24th of October2014 in a glitzy Great-Gatsby themed setting, where artists and celebs from across Johannesburg came together for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and opening concert which featured the likes of Anders, NRG, Avea Mensgroup and more than 90 celebrities and a host of lifestyle bloggers who covered the event. The food was proudly catered by the trendy Sandton Vegan hotspot Conscious 108. Die Reviewer, Outreach Unlimited, acted as proud sponsors of the event. The new theatre building is a double-volume showroom and will consist of a main theatre, dance hall, two classrooms, tuck-shop, props-department and chill-lounge. There is also display units of the latest designs by well-known jewellery designer, Ulricke Loubcher of Wooden Lace, making the theatre the first and only of its kind in Johannesburg.
The event was hosted by: Actress, Nathanya van Zyl & Kleefklan Vocalist Francois Chapman
SOME CELEBS WHO ATTENDED:
•Mr South Africa, John Owens
•Fashion duo Alan & Krishen
•Binnelanders Actors, Arno Greff, Andrew White
•7de Laan Actress, Bertha Whal
•Villa Rosa Actors, Jacques Pepler, JC Snooke, Andre Lotter
•MusiekMusiek’s Eagan Williamson
Others whom attended:
•Theatre Producer, Kosie Smit
•Mr. SA Finalists
•Representatives of 15 publications
•Performances were made by: AVEA MENSGROUP NRG ANDERS For any further information please contact: (firstname.lastname@example.org)